Your Short-Term Student visa

A Short-term Student visa is suitable for you if you intend to study for a maximum of 6 months at Ulster University.


  • Who needs a Short-term Student visa (STSV)?

    You will need a Short-term Student visa (STSV) if:

    • You will take a course of study at Ulster University that is no more than 6 months long as an exchange, study abroad or visiting student; or
    • You will come to Ulster for a period of research that is no more than six months long, as part of your degree course at your home university; or
    • You will return to Ulster to take a re-sit or viva exam, and will leave the UK within six months; or
    • You will undertake study activity on campus as part of an Ulster University distance learning course.  Please note that:
      • Each period of study cannot last more than six months
      • There is a limit on how many times you may enter the UK with a Short-term Student visa
      • Part-time degrees are not considered to be official distance learning programmes
  • How do I apply for a Short-term Student visa?

    How you apply to enter the UK as short-term student, depends upon whether you are a visa national (i.e. you are a national of a country that needs to apply for a visa in order to travel to and enter the UK) or you are a non-visa national (i.e. you are a national of a country that does not need to apply for a visa before you travel to the UK).

  • How does a visa national apply for a Short-term Student Visa?

    If you are a visa national, you must apply online for a Short-term Student visa before you travel to the UK.

    Short-term Student visa application form

    When you apply, you will need to provide:

    • Your passport or other valid travel identification
    • Your original letter of acceptance at Ulster University
    • Details of your accommodation arrangements and travel plans
    • Evidence of your finances

    Evidence of your finances 

    You must provide evidence that you have enough money to support yourself while you are in the UK and to pay for your return or onward travel.  This could be in the form of original bank statements or payslips for the last 6 months.

    All documents must be original documents (photocopies will not be accepted)

    You must provide a certified translation of any document that is not in English.

    When can I apply for a Short-term Student visa? 

    You can apply for a Short-term Student visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.

    How long will it take for my visa to be processed? 

    You should receive a decision on your visa application within 3 weeks.

    You can check the visa processing times to find out how long it may take to get a visa in the country from which you are applying.

    How long will my visa be valid for?

    You will normally be granted a Short-term Student visa for 6 months. Your visa will be a multi-entry visa, which will allow you to travel out of and re-enter the UK during for the duration of your visa.

    Please be aware that if you try to re-enter the UK close to the end date of your Short-term Study visa, you could be refused entry if you will not actively be studying after your entry to the UK.

    You must leave the UK within 30 days of the end of your studies, or before your visa expires (whichever is the earlier date).

  • How does a non-visa national apply for Short-term Student visa?

    If you are a non-visa national, you may choose to apply for entry clearance (i.e. a Short-term Study visa) before you travel to the UK or when you arrive in and enter the UK.

    If you apply for a Short-term Study visa before you travel to the UK, please follow the instructions and advice above for visa nationals.

    If you apply for entry clearance as a short-term student when you arrive in the UK, you will need to ask the Immigration Officer for permission to enter the UK as a short-term student.  You will normally be given permission to stay the UK as a student for six months.  Your visa will be a single-entry visa, which means that if you leave the UK within those six months, you will have to ask the Immigration Officer for permission to enter the UK as a short-term student each time you re-enter the UK.

    You should ensure that you have the following documents in your hand luggage when you travel to the UK, as you will need to show these when you ask the Immigration Officer for permission to enter the UK:

    • Your passport
    • Your letter of acceptance from Ulster University
    • Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself in the UK (e.g. recent bank statements)
    • Evidence of where you will live (your accommodation)
    • Evidence of your return flight (if you have booked one)
  • What will my visa look like?

    If you apply for a Short-term Student visa before travelling to the UK, your STSV will be confirmed by a visa vignette (sticker) in your passport.  The visa vignette contains details about you and your Short-term Student visa.  It will be valid for a maximum of 6 months.  An Immigration Officer will stamp your vignette with an entry stamp confirming your date of entry to the UK when you go through UK immigration control.

    Your visa vignette is a very important document. It is proof of your immigration permission to be in the UK and will allow you to travel in and out of the UK. Please take care not to lose your visa vignette as replacing it can be very costly and time consuming.

    If you apply for permission to enter the UK as a short-term student when you arrive in the UK and pass through UK immigration control, an Immigration Officer will put a stamp in your passport confirming that you have permission to stay in the UK as a short-term student and an entry stamp confirming your date of entry to the UK.

  • Errors on your visa vignette

    Check your visa vignette carefully when you receive it.  If there are any errors on your vignette that would prevent you from entering the UK as planned, you must get the errors amended before you travel to the UK.  This includes errors with your name, nationality or ‘valid from’ date.

    How you report an error will depend upon whether you notice the error outside the UK or after you have arrived.

    Please contact the Compliance team for advice if you notice any mistakes on your visa vignette.

    UKCISA – Passport, visa and BRP problems

  • Lost, stolen or damaged passport and visa vignette

    Replacing your passport outside the UK

    If you have lost your passport outside the UK you must report this to the police as soon as possible.  Make sure that you are given proof that you have reported the loss/theft and try to get a crime reference number.

    You will need to apply for a replacement passport.  Contact your country’s Embassy, Consulate, High Commission or passport office in the country where you are. It may take some time to receive a new passport.

    Contact the Compliance team immediately to let us know that you have lost your passport and again as soon as you have received your new passport.

    Transferring your visa to your new passport outside the UK

    You will need to apply online for a “vignette transfer” as soon as you have received your new passport. This will cost £154.

    When you complete your online application, please select the following route:

    1. Reason for visit: Other
    2. Visa type: Others
    3. Visa sub type: Vignette transfer

    You do not need to provide evidence of funds or qualifications etc. (unless this is requested by UKVI). However, you must submit a letter from Ulster University confirming you have been accepted to study with us, in addition to a photocopy of evidence of your visa vignette and your police report.

    Information on transferring your visa from your passport


    If your passport and visa vignette are lost, stolen or damaged inside the UK

    If your passport and visa vignette are lost, stolen or damaged inside the UK, you will need to make a Transfer of Conditions (TOC) application once you have received your new passport.

    UKCISA – Passport, visa and BRP problems

  • What are the conditions of my Short-term Student visa?

    As a Short-term student, you may:

    • Study at Ulster University for up to 6 months

    As a Short-term student you must:

    • Intend to leave the UK at the end of your studies
    • Leave the UK within 30 days of the end of your studies, or before your permission expires (whichever is the earlier date).

    As a Short-term student you may not:

    • Work – either paid or unpaid
    • Undertake a paid or unpaid work placement, even if this is part of your studies
    • Extend your visa in the UK for more studies, or apply for other visas from within the UK
    • Bring dependants with you to the UK

    If you would like to have permission to work part-time while you are in the UK, you will need a Tier 4 student visa. Please contact the Compliance team for advice on this.